Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I just had to take a moment today and blog about what a special day St. Patrick's Day means to me. No, I'm not Irish. No, I don't drink green beer. No, I don't really party much at all. So what's so special about this day?

Today marks the 26th anniversary of my life as a computer programmer!

I've been so blessed to have a career I enjoy and didn't want the day go by without saying so! It's actually quite ironic how I ended up in this career. During high school I was a shy, quiet, and very introverted girl (I know .. most of you can't believe that .. but it's true .. I swear!) I was looking for a career where I didn't have to socialize with people too much. We had an assembly at school where the administration talked about the "Career Center". This was a facility where Juniors and Seniors from high schools around the area could spend half their school day learning a career. There were programs for Auto Mechanics, Small Engine Repair, Cosmetology, and lots of other careers.

My mom really urged me to consider going to the Career Center. I resisted, but she's pretty persuasive. I considered the Accounting program because I really enjoyed my recent accounting class. I also considered the Engineering class because I really enjoyed my recent drafting class. My mom looked the brochure over and had this to say…

“I think you should consider this Computer program. I think computers are really going to take off in the future.”

Like I said, my mom is really persuasive so even though I had never touched a computer and didn’t know anything about them, I followed her recommendations. What can I say but, “Thanks Mom!” She was so right about the future of computers. She was also so right about the career choice for me.

I have loved being a programmer from the first day I started. It’s been a wonderful ride that has taken me many places. I have enjoyed the fact that to program an application for a business, I have to learn all about that business. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about so many different industries that I probably wouldn’t have ever known about. And the opportunity to work at Microsoft as a contractor was a dream come true!

I have also enjoyed the ironic affect this career has had on my life. I’m no longer the quiet, shy, introverted little girl. I’ve come out of my shell and now speak at user groups and conferences as often as I can. I write articles, post on newsgroups, and participate in the FoxPro community as much as possible. So to the entire FoxPro community .. I want to say thanks for the wonderful place you have helped my career go.

And I also owe a big “Thanks” to my Mom. She’s one special lady!


Ceil said...

Me too Cathy. I struggled with the job/career issue when I was young, just like everyone else. But as soon as I discovered computers I knew it was for me!

I love that I can work through a problem and come up with an actual answer. I love getting my head into the space where the language isn't words. I love logic.

This profession is so much more than a job. It's allowed me to work around the details of my life, provided income, structure, friends, and interest for over forty years. And like you, it's also changed how I see myself.

Rob Spangler said...

To balance things out, on Mothers Day, you have to talk about how Irish people got you into programming! :)

I was lucky... when I was about 9 years old, I got introduced to a Apple 2C and was instantly smitten... I knew WHATEVER I did, it would have to involve computers...